|It was warm out today, but there was a nice cool breeze blowing out in the big field, where I rode Ramsey.|
|Green field between black-tipped red ears.|
I think he likes me as much as I like him: he was all happy and perky on the cross ties while I was tacking him up today, and he reached for his bridle when I held it up. He didn't test me at all today under saddle, and he received a nice cool bath afterwards.
I was going to ride Lily in an arena...then thought maybe the big field...then decided to just hit the trails, since the day was so freaking gorgeous.
She tried to balk at the trail head again, but I got her going with less difficulty than last time, and from that point on we worked on a more forward walk and trot going away from home. She responded beautifully, and as we were going at a more forward pace, she stopped being so looky (she was looking at everything today; she's in heat thanks to her boyfriend gelding being moved across the aisle from her. Haha...) Within 10 minutes, she was choosing the gait: walk or trot, depending on the footing and slight inclines, and since she was making good decisions, I let her choose. We rode to the meadow, which we went around in reverse this time.
|Approaching the creek crossing|
A terrible video of Lily successfully crossing the creek, as is her norm now.
Well, that's the same spot we visited today. I rode her down between the bushes to the rocky bank, and even though she was clearly saying, "OMG bushes! OMG mud! OMG water! OMG rocks!" she still kept right on marching forward without very much urging at all.
I considered having her cross the creek to the path that leads out of it on the other side, but the water looked pretty deep and her front feet were sinking almost to her pasterns in the mud on the bank. I could tell that she would have done it if I'd asked, which I was so, so happy about, but I was afraid of her feet sinking in the muddy bottom trying to get across. (I was SO PROUD of her for NOT freaking out about her feet sinking in the mud!!) I'd lose her trust if I had her literally go off the deep end and something bad happened.
So we turned around, and I had her go into the water in the same spot we'd visited on foot before. Lily did as I asked without much ado. I encouraged her to put her head down and touch the water. She first snorted loudly at it, then drank. I then turned her around and we headed back over the bridge. Instead of following the road back up to the trail, I let her take a deer path that she had pointed out numerous times before. She trotted her way happily up that path, and she slowed to a walk on her own when it connected to the horse trail.
Ok, I could not get over what an awesome little ride this was. She was looky initially but remained relaxed for the most part. I acknowledged when she pointed things she was worried about (she did this while continuing to move forward), but firmly asked her to continue when it turned out to be nothing. I was thrilled that the end result was that she let go of the things that worried her, instead of obsessing about them. The best part? She FINALLY trusted me. She trusted me to go into the creek and get her feet wet, with me on her back instead of me on foot sending her in. That was huge!!
She received treats afterwards, a bath, and I finally trimmed her bars, taking advantage of the fact that her hooves were wet, which made this job a thousand times easier (wet hooves = softer for trimming).
It was a happy ending to what was otherwise a sad day: Mom returned to PR today. I'll put some photos of our adventures in the next post.